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Department of Human Services Highlights Research and Best Practices in Data Analytics For People With Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities, Dual Diagnoses


Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) today released the latest issue of the Positive Approaches Journal. The journal aims to provide the most recent research and resources for people with the dual diagnoses of an intellectual disability/autism and a co-occurring mental illness on living an everyday life.

“People with dual diagnoses often face challenges for true inclusion in their communities and require appropriate services and supports. The Positive Approaches Journal is one more way to help people understand and access the services they need,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “Our goal at DHS is to serve more people in their communities, and we want those services to be the best that they can be. We hope that by publishing these resources and advancements to professionals and supporters, we can foster more research and improved services for the people who need them.”

The journal is a collaboration of DHS’ Office of Developmental Programs and Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and collects resources, observations, and advancements in mental and behavioral health in order to better serve people with dual diagnoses in their communities.

This edition focuses on data analytics and features research and guidance on the following:

  • Exploring the Components of Quality Visualizations: This article recognizes the components of data visualizations and explains how to read and interpret visualizations in order to tell a story.
  • Using Global Positioning Systems to Assess Community Mobility and Participation of Individuals with Disabilities: This article investigates how GPS can be used to measure mobility of individuals with disabilities in order to understand their lives in the community.
  • Words are Data Too! Options for Analysis and Visualization: This article explores how data visualization can be created to enhance textual data.
  • Data Visualization: How to Use Graphics Effectively: This article outlines best practices on how to effectively communicate data findings.
  • Narrative-Based Data Visualizations: How Context Is Key in Making Data Accessible and Actionable: This article discusses improving data literacy and data accessibility, especially for decision makers.
  • From the Vault: Uncovering Early Data Visualizations: This article explores the creation and history of data visualizations.
  • Getting Started With R: This article introduces and explains best practices involving the R programming language.
  • COVID-19 Data Visualization Highlight: This article highlights the importance of how data visualizations and analytics have helped to make sense of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Using Community Data to Inform Services: This article highlights various data-driven platforms that can help the Office of Developmental Programs strengthen services for Pennsylvanians with disabilities.
  • Social Work Values in Action: Using Data to Meet People Where They Are: This article emphasizes the importance of data to guide collaboration in social work.

Read this edition of the Positive Approaches Journal.

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